You Said… We Did…
9th August 2023 | By PSA Team
Since we launched the facility for members to make suggestions directly for discussion by your PSA Board, we’ve received 15 suggestions. Some some cover similar ground and have combined. All of them have been discussed by the Board at our meetings. This blog summarises some of the main points of discussion that have taken place so far. I’ll be writing future blogs to summarise other suggestions as they arise. Most of the suggestions were raised through the suggestions forms; we can also take your suggestions via email.
Tickets for National Events
This suggestion highlighted that for some members, paying for a national event ticket in a single payment is difficult. Our approach has been to have Early Bird tickets at a reduced price, to be paid in full when the event is launched. Once they’re all sold, the price goes up. This means that only those who are in a good financial position can take advantage of the Early Bird offer, leaving others who can’t afford to pay in full, with a more expensive ticket option. The Board agreed that this wasn’t equitable to all members. We’ve looked at a variety of solutions to this, and we will be changing the way we offer tickets for future conferences, particularly the Summit. We’ll announce a new approach at the Speaking Business Summit in October 2023.
Minutes of Board Meetings
We’ve been asked if it would be possible to see minutes of Board meetings.
Your Board is communicating all the important aspects of our discussions through a variety of different means, this blog being one example. We also run the all aBoard calls, where Board members are available on a Zoom call, for you to ask direct questions of them. There are other communications too via email and on the website, where we publish the Chairman’s update, roughly quarterly. These communications cover all of the important points. that would be included on Board minutes.
Your Board is keen to be as transparent as possible. Some elements of Board meetings are inevitably commercially sensitive and confidential. All the information that can be shared is already being made available through other communications.
Appointment of Directors, Officers and Volunteers
We’ve received a question about the process of appointing Directors, Officers and Volunteers. Our current recruitment process follows the process defined in the Articles of Association and Bye-Laws of the PSA. In short summary, all roles are advertised to the membership as they become available and are open to any member to apply. Candidates for executive roles are interviewed by a panel of 2 current Board members and one other person (e.g. a former Board member or Regional President) in line with the current Articles and Bye-Laws. These documents also describe how Board members may be removed, should that be necessary.
Other Officers and Volunteers are recruited through a variety of means. For example, Regional Presidents are elected by members in their region.
We received a suggestion about improving the offer to younger people, who are the start of their speaking careers. As a result of this suggestion, a working party will consider the options and make recommendations to the Board. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please let Head Office know and they will connect you to the others in the working party.
Suggestions have also been made about providing additional categories of membership.
This prompted a detailed discussion that is continuing. We’re looking at catering for those who have an interest in the speaking profession, but are not themselves speakers – for example, speaker booking agencies. Within the existing membership levels, we’re reviewing how members join and progress through the Association. Finally, we’re considering a ‘retired’ rate for members who retire from the industry, and still value their membership of the PSA.
The PSA’s Strategy sets out an ambition to ensure that we are building an association is open to all professional speakers, regardless of their background. Our approach will be through acquisition of new members and retention of existing members. To achieve our aims, we are exploring ways to capture and analyse more informative, quantitative and qualitative data, which will form part of our ongoing systems improvement work.
We welcome further suggestions from you on how to ensure that a welcoming, open, inclusive culture is created and maintained at the PSA.
Please keep your suggestions coming. Click here to send them to us through the form. We’ll report back regularly on our discussions, through future blogs.
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